Amy HerrAmy Herr (Photo by Noah Berger)

Amy Herr: 21st century scientist

Amy Herr is passionate about the way STEM research and education can tangibly improve lives – from students to patients in clinical trials. She shares that passion as a scientist and business innovator. But she’s also deeply committed to teaching and mentoring, as an advocate for bringing engineering design principles to undergraduate bioengineering education and the creator of the UC Berkeley bioengineering department’s senior capstone design course and NIH-funded Summer Biodesign Immersion Experience. At Berkeley, Herr is the Lester John and Lynne Dewar Lloyd Distinguished Professor in Bioengineering, as well as the faculty director of the UC Berkeley Bakar Fellows Program and the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub.

Herr’s research focus is on inventing tools to analyze the levels of various proteins within single cells, which has applications for the treatment of diseases such as cancer. For more than a decade, she has led a renowned research lab of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at Cal. Her team is currently focusing on inventing tools for precision analysis of single cells, and collaborates with oncologists at institutions like UCSF and Stanford Medical Center.

To bring her lab’s inventions to market, Herr co-founded Zephyrus Biosciences, which was acquired by Bio-Techne Corp. She sees creating startups as an essential part of being a scientist in the 21st century: “We don’t confine ourselves to the lab. Our goal is to ultimately improve people’s lives, so we work to ensure that the technology gets into the hands of the people whose lives we want to improve. Sometimes, that means leading the process of commercialization yourself.”

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